, March 2012
MAHLER, G.: Symphony No. 2, `Resurrection` (Woodland, Baker, BBC Chorus, London Symphony, Stokowski) (1963) BBCL4136-2
SHOSTAKOVICH, D.: Symphony No. 5 / VAUGHAN WILLIAMS, R.: Symphony No. 8 (London Symphony, BBC Symphony, Stokowski) (1964) BBCL4165-2
Orchestral Music - KLEMPERER, O. / VAUGHAN WILLIAMS, R. / RAVEL, M. / BRAHMS, J. / NOVACEK, O. (Stokowski) (1964, 1974) BBCL4205-2
the present recording has much to offer. Stokowski gives the symphony its dramatic due…He favors tempos that are faster than are customary; these never seem rushed, however. In fact, he saves the “Resurrection” from becoming emotionally and intellectually overbearing, which certainly can happen in more self-consciously solemn performances…this is a “Resurrection” that invites you to replay it almost immediately…Stokowski’s reading maintains the work’s momentousness, but it also makes it very human and approachable.
This performance is strong evidence that even late in his career, Stokowski had lost nothing of his charisma and savvy.Stokowski’s performance does much to weaken my resistance. His ear for color counts for much, not just in the mysterious opening pages, but throughout, and if he has a tendency to be excitable, and to be more generous in the climaxes than Adrian Boult (for example), in this case the ends justify the means…the selections with the New Philharmonia are excellent, even by today’s standards.
All three of these discs are desirable, so if you have not acquired any of them already, this ready-made compilation will give you another chance to do so. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review on Fanfare